By Otis Griffin
Many decades ago we had our own little personal swimming and fishing holes combined into one area.
Of course back then we thought we were hidden and no one knew about us playing, swimming, fishing or having the battle of Vicksburg out behind some grownups house. Only located about a good average cotton row from the middle point of the metropolis of Rosemark we ‘figgered’ no one knew about us.
Long before Austin Peay highway came barreling through and gutted our country haven there were two ponds (Bower’s and Wylie’s) behind the Bower’s house located on the Rosemark interstate.
Years later as they were eliminated we realized the two areas were deed separated by the rusty hog wire fence that caused us some much trouble in our many escapades.
We were so young the two bodies of water loomed larger than the Pacific and Atlantic. Surrounded by giant shady trees we could have ourselves a wonderful time and no one, we thought, knew where we were.
Those mean ole big boys had let the locations slip while conversing on the front porch of Mr. Bens’ mercantile. Anxious to investigate we sneaked behind William’s café and barber shop, along the fence row past Mr. Craig’s mechanic shop, hid behind and amongst some tall skyscraper Johnson grass.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowers worked all the time as you had to back then tending to their truck farming which is the hardest job in the world. Daddy said, “they stayed to themselves most of the time.” I recollect we walked around them as they didn’t cotton to tree swingers and shied away as I sho’ didn’t want my head hulled. Emerson, Phil and Arvis would barefoot it from Barretville jumping cotton rows to Mr. Bens’ while big Paul and Thurman would ride older brother’s Buck’s (borrowed he said) puddle jumper to the store and we’d have a high level meeting. Finally Tommy and Edward Neal would traipse up.
Me and Lynn would crouch down and Tonto run through the gigantic corn stalks so maybe ‘Miss’ Bonnie couldn’t see us from Mr. Babe’s telephone exchange. We hoped she was busy plugging in those little darts with some dangling loose wire into the holes so folks could speak to one ’nuther. Does anyone remember sneaking away and actually thinking you were getting away with something? We couldn’t ‘figger’ out how grownups knew what we were doing before we ever done it? Redneck’s Momma’s sho’ are smart. They knew more about what we were doing than Superman knew about to’ sacks of kryptonite Over three score ago can you imagine a dozen gully jumpers, bare footed, in frayed legged, faded cut off jeans with walnut sun tans choosing ups sides to either fish, swim, play tag, or fight the battle of Shiloh with dirt clods from the near by cotton and corn fields?
The ponds are gone but the memories remain…Glory!
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